In Sheffield we're interested in algae for producing biofuels. We sometimes grow them in conical flasks stood on light boxes, like the ones used in hospitals to look at x-rays. I was astonished at how expensive (and dim) they are. As ever, Instructables to the rescue! I flippin' love Instructables.
IKEA do a good line in plain, semi-transparent plastic tubs that diffuse light nicely. I balked at the price of their bright LED arrays, although perhaps the light would be less spiky than the fluorescent tubes I went for. We'll see. Here's what I used...
- IKEA Snålis box lid (40 x 30cm) £0.60
- IKEA Samla transparent box (39 x 28 x 14cm) £1.49
- Wickes 275mm Under Cupboard Light £12.99
- Aluminium foil (from my kitchen)
The Samla box doesn't go with the lid (but sort of fits) - I picked it because it is more shallow than the Snålis box. I lined it with foil, fitted a plug to the light and put it in. Because the lid doesn't quite fit you needn't even drill a hole in your nice box, although if things start getting a bit hot this might be a good idea along the sides.
The light is more uniform than it looks in the photo above, but more lights can be daisy-chained onto the same power supply if you need it to be brighter and widely spread. For £15 I'm quite pleased with it.
Now to save the planet